Ellen Ullman
Communications Manager
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SETDA Honors FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks with the
2023 Federal Policymaker of the Year Award

November 9, 2023 (Washington, D.C.) — SETDA, the principal membership association of U.S. state and territorial educational technology and digital learning leaders, announced FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks as the 2023 recipient of the SETDA Federal Policymaker of the Year Award. Commissioner Starks accepted the award at the 2023 SETDA Leadership Summit this week.

The Policymaker of the Year award, which is rooted in SETDA’s long tradition of seeking out exemplary leadership, recognizes elected and appointed policymakers at state and federal levels who have championed access to and effective use of technology in K-12 education. It honors policymakers who actively support digital learning opportunities for all students and engages with the broader education and policymaking communities to advocate for the role of technology in advancing education.

This year’s award honors Commissioner Starks for his longtime support of the E-Rate program and as a champion for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which has enrolled more than 20 million households as of August 2023. Commissioner Starks has consistently advocated for broadband deployment in rural areas because he understands that equal access leads to resources and opportunities that the internet provides.

“It is a fantastic honor to be recognized for the 2023 Federal Policymaker Award. SETDA and I share many of the same priorities—leveraging technology and federal resources to support education,” said Commissioner Starks. “I’m proud of the work that we have done in the past year to support E-Rate and the Affordable Connectivity Program, which is helping students around the country access the broadband they need to continue their education. I will continue to advocate for policies that prepare each generation to succeed in the digital age.” 

“At SETDA, our commitment to empowering students and educators extends beyond mere connectivity; it’s about opening doors to a wealth of opportunities and ensuring a level playing field for all,” said Julia Fallon, Executive Director of SETDA. “Through our advocacy, collaborative efforts, and innovative strategies, SETDA continues to champion equitable access to digital resources in education. It is in recognition of this shared mission that SETDA proudly names Commissioner Starks as the 2023 SETDA Federal Policymaker of the Year.”


Founded in 2001, SETDA is the principal association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology and digital learning leaders. Through a broad array of programs and advocacy, SETDA builds member capacity and engages partners to empower the education community in leveraging technology for learning, teaching, and school operations.

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